SPOTLIGHT: Alistair Overeem
By: Bryce Featured Image Credit: MMAFighting.com
In the buildup to UFC 218 this Saturday in Detroit, I will be giving a spotlight to all 4 co-main and main event fighters. We begin first with Alistair "The Reem" Overeem.
Alistair Overeem is an MMA OG to the truest sense of the word. He had his debut in 1999, and his game is still good enough that 18 years later he is in talks of getting the next title shot. Looking at him physically, "The Reem" is an intimidating foe, as he is 6'5" and JACKED. Say what you want about how he got that big, all that matters is the end result. Along with being an insanely large human, he trains with the best in the world at Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He's trading shots with world champions like Jon Jones on a regular basis. He has made his career a priority with the move to join the elite camp in 2014.
This large man knocks other large men unconscious pretty well. With his kickboxing background, in which he garnered a record of 10 wins and 4 losses, he became K-1 Grand Prix World champion, one of the most prestigious kickboxing tournaments in the world. His striking is next level in MMA. He has landed 73% of his strikes according to UFC.com, and he has also racked up a few wins via submission in his career, although his last sub was in 2008, so it is safe to say it is not his biggest weapon. His most valuable skill is his stand up, paired with his immense experience. He has fought and beaten the best of the best of this generation of MMA and the one before.
His one criticism that is legitimate is that he has a bit of a glass chin, meaning it doesn't take much to put him out. Look at the video above. Also, look at the Travis Browne fight, or the Ben Rothwell one. It is a legitimate claim that his chin has become a liability, but his offense is more often than not able to counter that weakness. This is not his only run at UFC gold. In fact, he has been close many of times before, even making it to the championship fight against Stipe Miocic at UFC 203. All of his runs ended much like the video above: a knockout finish. Alistair's last 8 losses have come by knockout, so if he is going to lose this Saturday, it is likely that's the way it will happen.
With that being said, he has a clearcut strategy to win this weekend against Francis "The Predator" Ngannou, and that is to keep it standing. It seems counterproductive from that last paragraph, but it is his best chance to win this fight. He hasn't had a submission victory in years, and has only landed 3 takedowns in his UFC career. He needs to rely on his kickboxing to either outpoint or put "The Predator" to sleep. It won't be easy, as Ngannou has been on a rampage since entering the UFC, but it is his best move in order to secure what will likely be the next shot at heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
Like this? Let us know on:
Keep an eye out for the other 3 spotlights to come this week!